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Top Account Executive Salary Trends in Tech for 2023

The Betts Team
February 3, 2023

Account executive (AE) salary trends saw a slight downturn for 2023 as a wave of layoffs hit the tech industry starting in late 2022. There is still demand for skilled sales professionals in this role, though, especially for those with the right technical experience or knowledge in closing enterprise-level sales. For more information on updated sales, marketing and customer success salaries and benefits, read our Compensation Guide for 2023 here.

In this blog, we’ll take a detailed look at the current pay trends for AEs in the technology sector and some of the top factors behind them:

Technology AE Compensation Trends in 2023

Account executive salaries for entry-level positions in tech rose to their highest base in 2021, then decreased on average in 2022. Many junior sales professionals were laid off between the Third and Fourth Quarters across different technology enterprises like Microsoft and Salesforce, while even those that avoided the layoffs saw a freezing of raises or being offered alternative compensation (i.e., better benefits) in some cases.

It’s important to note, however, that salary ranges for AEs in tech still did not drop to pre-pandemic levels and what we’ve seen is that there remains a lot of earning potential for salespeople that bring more experience to the table. Employers should take note of each of the trends below to ensure they are offering above the current rates for the sales roles they are targeting:

Average AE Salary in the Tech Industry

The average salary of an account executive in the technology space dropped by about 5% going into 2023. However, the full range still varies widely between different sub-sectors of the industry as well as in different parts of the US. An entry-level tech AE in hub cities like New York or San Francisco can earn $75,000 – $100,000 base and $150,000 – $200,000 in OTE (on-track earnings), while those in Mountain or Central time zones typically make $60,000 – $90,000 base with $120,000 – $180,000 in total earnings.

SAAS Account Executive Salaries

Despite the salary drops in 2023, the SAAS sub-sector of tech remained a more overall competitive place for AEs than many other industries when it comes to compensation. Cloud-based software and services continue to grow in popularity overall, and many startups in this space are constantly looking to increase their customer base and annual recurring revenue (ARR) to make it to the next round of venture capital funding – for which they need qualified sales professionals.

Enterprise Account Executive (EAE) Average Pay

Enterprise Account Executives (EAEs) saw their salary levels remain roughly the same from 2021 to 2022, with an average range of  $120,000 – $200,000 per year, though we’ve seen as high as a $250,000 base in the Betts network. They’ve retained a high recruiting demand due to the increasing need for companies to sell their products and services to larger enterprise-level organizations. EAEs are responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key decision-makers in these companies and ensuring the successful implementation and adoption of their products and services, making the role highly specialized and demanding.

AE Compensation Packages

Even though AE salaries decreased on average, those in the technology industry can still expect a comprehensive benefits package that includes at the minimum health insurance, a 401(k) retirement savings plans, and often unlimited paid time off. Other emerging perks in tech include more stock and equity options, as well as stipends and reimbursements for gym memberships, commuting expenses, tuition and more. The amount and type offered by a company can vary depending on the size, financial performance, and other factors, but many companies in the space are improving or adding new benefits to attract and retain top talent in the current market.

Account Executive Hiring Platforms for Tech

Many companies are turning to specialized hiring platforms to not only find the right AE candidates, but to gain better visibility into salary trends in the talent pool. These platforms provide a channel for sales professionals to showcase their qualifications and establish their pay requirements, while allowing companies to quickly identify and hire top talent. These recruiting systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they streamline the hiring process, and reduce the time and resources it takes to find the right candidates.

Technical AE Compensation

A subset of account executives that is actually increasing in demand is the technical AE. A strong understanding of the technology industry, products, and services is essential for this role, as well as a deep understanding of the sales process. Additionally, strong communication skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to build and maintain relationships with customers are also critical for success in this role.

Career Path for Account Executives in Tech

The career path for account executives in tech can vary depending on the company and the specific industry sub-sector. However, many AEs start their careers in entry-level sales positions and work their way up to more senior roles such as Account Manager, Sales Manager, or even Vice President of Sales. The opportunities for career growth in the technology industry are often better than in other sectors, and account executives with the right skills and experience can expect to earn higher salaries and increased responsibilities as they progress in their careers.

Find AEs That Meet Your Requirements

Unlocking data on the latest salary trends for AEs or any other sales roles involves dealing with a lot of noise in today’s digital world, and many recruiting solutions deliver junk returns when searching for candidates that actually meet the qualifications you’re looking for. That’s why Betts has designed Connect, our own hiring platform, to serve tech companies that need to hire account executives and other revenue-generating positions at scale. 

Betts Connect Can Help

If you’re building GTM teams, or seeking your next opportunity, Betts Connect can help. After more than a decade of building relationships with the world’s most innovative companies and professionals, you can now access this network with Connect. As the only go-to-market recruiting platform built by recruiters and powered by recruiters, Connect enables you to search through a network of vetted go-to-market professionals actively looking for their next opportunity, and reduce time to hire, save money, and spend more time on your growth strategy. Plus, our clients see ROI in less than 3 months.

In addition, our experienced teams always know the most up to date information on compensation and the working arrangements that top professionals are seeking from a future employer. If you have any questions, please reach out. We look forward to speaking with you!

To learn more about Betts Connect and see its value firsthand, sign up for a demo here.